IRS to eliminate over 7000 jobs by 2024
Things are shaking up at the IRS. As part of its efforts to reduce staffing by at least 8 percent, the 84,000-person agency plans on eliminating more than 7000 jobs associated with processing paper tax returns by 2024. Given the rise of tax returns being e-filed, these paper return processing, aka “submission processing,” jobs, particularly in Austin, Texas, Fresno, California and Covington, Kentucky, will be eliminated, while other jobs in areas such as Kansas City, Missouri and Ogden, Utah will be consolidated—leading to a projected savings of $266 million by 2029. Unfortunately, in Covington, where the median income is $35,000 and 25% of the population live below the poverty line, submission processing was—until now—a reliable industry and source of employment for 1800 residents.
President of the Covington chapter of the National Treasury Employees Union (NTEU), Ricky Riley, believes that everyone from IT guys to the “lawn guys” could be affected, not just IRS employees. Tony Reardon, NTEU’s president, criticized that it was difficult for the NTEU to prepare for these cuts because they had no idea it was coming and they were not consulted in advance.
The IRS has expressed a less dim view of the staff-cutting. The agency emphasized, in a statement earlier this month, that submission processing is only one part of the larger operations in the Austin, Fresno and Covington, and that it will remain a major employer in these areas. The IRS further noted that submission processing employees were able to transition into other IRS jobs in the past. But, employees remain skeptical.
Nonetheless, one cannot ignore that e-filing of tax returns rose from 58 percent in 2008 to 86 percent in 2015, and the agency’s budget decreased by $900 million since 2010, during which it lost 17,000 jobs (according to the IRS). While the IRS seems to be the “bad guy” in all this, leaving thousands of employees worried about their futures, these statistics perhaps show that its proverbial hands were forced.
—By Keobopha Keopong, Esq., Barnes Law
Keo Keopong is an associate attorney with Barnes Law, licensed to practice law in California.
The opinions expressed are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of the firm, its clients, or any of its or their respective affiliates. This article is for general information purposes and is not intended to be and should not be taken as legal advice.
 On September 14th, the IRS announced that “[by] 2019, 1,800 of 4,100 jobs in the Cincinnati region will be eliminated in Covington. By 2021, 3,000 jobs will be eliminated in Fresno. And by 2024, 2,400 jobs will be eliminated in Austin.” https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/powerpost/wp/2016/09/27/irs-to-eliminate-more-than-7000-jobs-as-fewer-people-file-paper-tax-returns/; https://www.nteu.org/media-center/news-releases/2016/09/26/do-not-outsource-jobs-when-thousands-of
 The information contained herein came from the following sources: https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/powerpost/wp/2016/09/27/irs-to-eliminate-more-than-7000-jobs-as-fewer-people-file-paper-tax-returns/; http://www.houstonchronicle.com/business/economy/article/IRS-to-eliminate-more-than-7-000-jobs-as-fewer-9299913.php;